Holocaust documented.

Doc

One of the thing that surprises me is why some people still give credence to Holocaust deniers. Some of these deniers do actually claim to be Historians, if they really are they are absolutely useless and lazy  in their jobs.

I  don’t consider myself to be  a Historian nor did I ever claim to be. I do however have a passion for history and in particular for World War 2 and especially the Holocaust. No matter how I look at it I find it incredibly hard to fathom the horrors subjected to so many by a regime so evil. What makes it worse these crimes were known and reported as they were happening.Some at a time prior to the war where there still was a possibility to stop it from happening in the first place.

The reason why I call these Holocaust deniers lazy is because there are so many documents and records documenting these crimes, often by eye witnesses. Thousands and thousands of documents.

Below some reports and telegrams highlighting concerns and actually reporting atrocities being carried out, Documents were sent to or from British officials.

A report of a Mr Pringle about the treatment of Jews in France in September 1942

pringle

Telegram from Sir G Ogilvie Forbes regarding the damage dealt to Jewish properties during ‘Kristallnacht’

Telegram (en clair) from Sir G. Ogilvie Forbes (Berlin),

D. BY TELEPHONE. 10th November, 1938.

R 5.5p.m. 10th November, 1938

No.663.

IMPORTANT

My telegram No. 661.

I have just returned from a tour of Friedrichstrasse and city districts where Jewish shops are being smashed and looted by youths in plain clothes, followed by large and smiling crowds including soldiers and others in party uniforms. Police were taking no notice.

Only exception was the premises of Messrs. Israel, a big department store partly British-owned which was guarded by police with fire brigade standing by. His Majesty’s Consul-General who visited these premises informs me that enormous damage has been done to stock and fittings. According to Mr. Israel store was attacked early this afternoon by a crowd which included S.S. men in uniform. Business offices owned by Jews are also being entered and smashed up apparently with impunity. Similar attacks on Jewish property are said to be taking place all over Germany.

His Majesty’s Consul Dresden reports that a British Jew from Leipzig has asked for asylum in the Consulate as Jews in Leipzig are being beaten up. I have taken immediate steps with the Under Secretary of State for the safeguarding of British subjects.

Chief Rabbi of Berlin has been arrested and seven synagogues have been burnt.

The facts that these attacks began only after midnight last night and that Jewish shops and offices have been systematically signalled out indicate that this action was deliberately planned.

kristall nacht

Telegram from Mr Gerhart Riegner to Mr S S Silverman, both of the World Jewish Congress, regarding rumours of the extermination of Jews in Concentration Camps.

FROM BERNE TO FOREIGN OFFICE.

Mr. Norton. D. 4.48 p.m. August 10th, 1942.

No. 2831. R. 6.25 p.m. August 10th, 1942.

August 10th, 1942.

yyyyyy

Following from His Majesty’s Consul General at Geneva No. 174 (Begins).

Following for Mr. S.S.Silverman M.P., Chairman of British Section, World Jewish Congress London from Mr. Gerhart Riegner Secretary of World Jewish Congress, Geneva.

[Begins].

Received alarming report stating that, in the Fuehrer’s Headquarters, a plan has been discussed, and is under consideration, according to which all Jews in countries occupied or controlled by Germany numbering 3 1/2 to 4 millions should, after deportation and concentration in the East, be at one blow exterminated, in order to resolve, once and for all the Jewish question in Europe. Action is reported to be planned for the autumn. Ways of execution are still being discussed including the use of prussic acid. We transmit this information with all the necessary reservation, as exactitude cannot be confirmed by us. Our informant is reported to have close connexions with the highest German authorities, and his reports are generally reliable.

Please inform and consult New York. (Ends].

[INDIV].

telegram

KaskiReport on the attacks on the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw

 

News is reaching the Polish Government in London about the liquidation [of] the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw.

The persecution of the Jews in Poland, which has been in progress from the very first day of the German occupation, has taken on extremely acute forms since March 1942, when Himmler ordered the extermination of 50% of the Jewish population in the Government General, to be carried out by the end of 1942.

Though the German assassins had started this work with extraordinary gusto, the results apparently did not satisfy Himmler, for during his visit to the General Gouvernement [sic] in July 1942 he ordered new decrees personally, aiming at the total destruction of Polish Jewry.

The persecutions in Warsaw started on July 21st. 1942, when German police cars suddenly drove into the ghettos. The soldiers immediately started rushing into houses, shooting the inhabitants at sign without any explanation. The first victims belonged mostly to the educated classes. On that day almost all the members of the Jewish Municipal Council were arrested and held as hostages.

On July 22nd. 1942 the Jewish Council was ordered to proclaim the decree of the German authorities dealing with the resettlement of all the Warsaw Jews, regardless of sex or age, in the Eastern part of Poland, with the sole exception of persons working in German factories or members of the Jewish militia. The daily quota of people to be re-settled was fixed at 6,000 and members of the Jewish Municipal Council were ordered to carry out the order under the pain of death.

By the next day, however, on July 23rd., the German police again appeared in the Jewish Municipal Council and demanded to see the chairman, Mr. Czerniakow. After the police had left, Czerniakow committed suicide. From a note he left for his wife, it became clear that he had received an order to deliver 10,000 people the next day and 7000 daily on the following days, in spite of the fact that the quota had been fixed originally at 6,000. The victims to be delivered to the Germans are either dragged out of their homes or seized in the streets. As the zeal of the Jewish police to perform these duties against their own people was slight and did not give a guarantee of efficiency, the Germans have mobilised temporary security batallions [sic] for the man-hunts, consisting of Ukrainians, Latvians, and Lithuanians. These batallions, under the command of SS men, are characterised by their utter ruthlessness, cruelty and inhumanity.

The Jews, when caught, are driven to a square. Old people and cripples are then singled out, taken to the cemetery and there shot. The remaining people are loaded into goods trucks, at the rate of 150 people to a truck with space for 40. The floor of the truck is covered with a thick layer of lime and chlorine sprinkled with water. The doors of the trucks are locked. Sometimes the train starts immediately on being loaded, sometimes it remains on a siding for a day, two days or even longer. The people are packed so tightly that those who die of suffocation remain the crowd side by side with the still living and those slowly dying from the fumes of lime and cholorine, from lack of air, water and food. Wherever the trains arrive half the people arrive dead. Those surviving are sent to special camps at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor. Once there, the so-called ‘settlers’ are mass murdered.

Karski

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Sources

BBC

National Archives UK.

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9 Candles on my cake.

Ernest

9 Candles were on my last birthday cake,just one away from double digits .

9 Candles on my cake, one candle for each year.

9 Candles were lit, I could feel the heat of each of them.

9 Candles that punched 9 little holes in my cake.

9 Candles, not enough to light up the room, but plenty enough to light up my face.

9 Candles,nothing special and yet it gave me a sense of magic

9 Candles I had to blow out,my mother told me to make a wish

9 Candles ,their flames extinguished slowly one by one 

The slowly extinguished very much like the fire in my soul.

I am Ernest Frydman I was born in Paris on May 7th, 1933.

9 Candles I had to blow out, my mother told me to male a wish.

My wish to have a cake with 10 Candles next year did not come though.

I was murdered in August 1942 in Auschwitz.

Indifference becomes hate.

hate

They say that money of the root of all evil. It isn’t. Hate is the root of all evil and indifference is the root of all hate.

Indifference can turn ordinary but ill informed people into hateful individuals and mobs. Ill informed because they believe what their leaders tell them,without questioning them.

I could do this blog about any era in history because throughout history there have been many occasions where indifference became hate, but I will focus on the darkest era , WWII.

The picture above is of Jewish women in Linz, Austria who were exhibited in public with a cardboard sign stating “I have been excluded from the national community”

German students taking part in race education classes, 1943.The 3 groups displayed on the poster are, from top to bottom, “East Baltic race” Alpine race” and “Dinaric race”. All these three groups were considered part of the sub-races of the Caucasian race.

education

Sinti in the courtyard of Hohenasperg Prison prior to their deportation to camps in Poland. May 22, 1940.

sinti

A women accused of racial defilement for having a romantic affair with a Polish man, Altenburg, Thuringia, Germany. 7 February 1942. Again with a cardboard sign stating “I have been excluded from the national community”

mockery

The indifference was partially caused by self interest. Hitler made promises in relation to the prosperity and he created the perception that he kept his promises. Although the economic recovery had already started before he came to power, the dire situation in Germany prior to that was still fresh in the  memories of many citizens.

People at a crowded dormitory of a lodging house for the homeless in Berlin in 1920.

homeless

German World War I veteran and amputee begs for money on the street.1923.

wwi

For many who had suffered Hitler had become a champion for their cause and they were willing to look away from the things the Nazis did, because they had a roof of their heads and food on the table and they were indifferent to the price that was paid for that new found prosperity.

AH

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America First

1st

The slogan America First was not first used by Donald J Trump but by President Woodrow Wilson, and also by Warren G. Harding during the 1920 US Presidential elections.

On September 4th 1940 R. Douglas Stuart Jr., who was a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, founded the America First Committee. It would become the foremost United States  pressure group ensuring the US’s neutrality and against the American entry into World War II.

Its spokes person was Charles Lindbergh.

2018-11-12

President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to intervene to help the British in the fight against Germany, but Lindbergh championed the isolationist cause.

Although Lindbergh was unashamedly pro-German and an anti-Semite, historians agree that he wasn’t Pro Nazi.

2018-11-12 (1)

Two future US Presidents, John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford initially supported the AFC.

At the outbreak of the war in Europe ,the America First Committee started  a petition with the goal to enforce the 1939 Neutrality Act and reminding and forcing President Franklin D. Roosevelt to maintain his pledge to keep America out of the war. The AFC had very little trust in Roosevelt and argued that he was untrue to the American people.

usa

Although the AFC was reasonably popular and had the backing of several wealthy business men, there were also some who were very cynical about the AFC movement.

Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss was a political cartoonist for the New York tabloid PM at the time. In early October 1941 he drew a series of  cartoons criticizing the nation of America First.

af seuss

December 7,1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor which drew the USA into the war therefore heralding the end of the America First Committee. Three days later after the attack on December 10,1941, the AFC was dissolved.

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Sources

BBC

Library of National Congress.

 

Symphony of destruction.

symphony

People who know me, know I am a big Heavy Metal fan ,and one of my favourite tracks is called Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth.But this blog is about a different Symphony, a Symphony which was composed and first performed amidst great destruction.

The piece of music is common;y known as the Leningrad Symphony, It was Dmitri  Shostakovich 7th Symphony.

The disturbing news of the German attack on the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, had reached Leningrad at midday June 22 as Molotov announced the attack via loudspeakers throughout the city.

barbarossa

The 35-year-old composer Shostakovich  was head of the Leningrad Conservatoire’s piano department. He began work on his Seventh Symphony in the first hot days of July.

He had volunteered for the army but was dismissed because of his poor eyesight.

Shostakovich

Instead he became a volunteer for the Leningrad Conservatory’s firefighter brigade. However as a musician he set his talents to work and help the war effort in a different way. I did not research this but as a musician myself I know how powerful music can be, it cam alter moods, lift spirits and boost morale.

When Shostakovich played the first two tacts of his Seventh Symphony to some of his friends, in the besieged city of Leningrad in the summer of 1941, the performance was brutally interrupted by a German bombardment.

Shostakovich endured and worked with an inhuman intensity to finish what would become his best known work. Not because he wanted to become rich from it but because he knew how important art was and especially music in the most dire circumstances.

The first full performance in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) was given in August 1942 by a half-starved orchestra, whose emaciated state is symbolised by the drummer Dzaudhat Aydarov, who had literally been rescued from the dead.

Karl Eliasberg, the conductor on that occasion, stated that Soviet artillery pounded known German battery positions  prior to the start of  concert in order to silence them.

It was the same Eliasberg who went to the morgue looking for the drummer Aydarov,He found his presumed cadaver  still moving and breathing.

Despite the destruction around them and being under siege by the German army, the people of Leningrad still found a bit of comfort by buying a ticket for the mammoth work which lasted for over 78 minutes. 78 minutes where they could forget the war, the hunger and the despair.

ticket

Below is the music  the symphony in its full length.

 

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Sources

Classic FM

The Guardian

BBC

YouTube

 

 

 

 

Karl Friedrich Stellbrink-Lübeck martyr.

Martyr

Karl Friedrich Stellbrink was one of the 4 Lübeck Martyrs.I could have done a blog on all 4 but the reason why I chose Stelbrink is three fold.

  1. He was the only non Catholic clergy man of the 4.
  2. He was the first to be arrested.
  3. His wife was also victimized.

All four men were executed by beheading on 10 November 1943 less than 3 minutes apart from each other at Hamburg’s Holstenglacis.

The men all opposed the Nazi regime.

martyrs

The four priests spoke publicly against the Nazis – at the start discreetly like distributing pamphlets to friends and congregants. Later they copied and distributed the anti-Nazi sermons of the Catholic Bishop August von Galen.

Stellbrink had joined the Nazi party but he soon realized their warped ideology,and its incompatibility with his Christian teaching.He declined to break off his friendship with his Jewish friends and in 1937 he left the party.

In his sermon on Palm Sunday, March 29,1942 he uttered the following words “In the misery of our home city we hear God’s voice” The previous night the city was bombed by the allied forces,killing more then 300 people. His sermon was interpreted as a divine punishment by God on the Nazi regime.He was arrested just over a week later on April 7, 1942.

On 22 and 23 June 1943 he and the other 3 men were put on trial. They were all sentenced to death. On November 10 ,1943 they were all beheaded within a few minutes of each other.

After his death, Stellbrink’s widow was billed for his court costs, imprisonment, and execution.

Lubeck

There is no doubt that the Christian churches should have done more, but their paralysis was caused by fear, the world had not witnesses such evil before. Although their inaction is in one way understandable it is still no excuse.

However often people forget that on an individual level there were many Christians that helped save the lives of Jews and others, by putting their own lives at risk.

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The November pogrom-Kristall nacht.

Kristaal nacht

This is not meant to be an accusation because since I didn’t live in those times, I just don’t know how I would have reacted.

It is however something that has intrigued me.How come the majority of the Germans and Austrians did not see how wrong the November pogrom was? I can nearly understand why they turned a blind eye to the boycott of Jewish shops and even the occasional attack on Jews, they probably thought it was just a few extreme right thugs who carried out those attacks. But Kristall nacht was not just some vandalism, it was a direct nationwide assault on religion and an act of war against the Jews.

During the Night 9-10 November, hundreds of synagogues were destroyed in Austria, Germany, and Sudetenland.

pogrom

While the synagogues were burning, firemen were instructed only to stop the  fires if nearby buildings were threatened by the flames.

At least 91 Jewish citizens were killed and about 30,000 Jewish men were arrested.The excuse used for these attacks was the shooting of diplomat Ernst vom Rath by 17 year old Jewish student Herschel Grynszpan, in Paris.

But in the 1930’s in Germany there had been many other assassinations and they never triggered widespread violence as the November pogrom.

Hugh Greene who worked as a reporter for  The Daily Telegraph in Berlin, wrote the following:

“Mob law ruled in Berlin throughout the afternoon and evening and hordes of hooligans indulged in an orgy of destruction. I have seen several anti-Jewish outbreaks in Germany during the last five years, but never anything as nauseating as this. Racial hatred and hysteria seemed to have taken complete hold of otherwise decent people. I saw fashionably dressed women clapping their hands and screaming with glee, while respectable middle-class mothers held up their babies to see the ‘fun'”

damage

To add insult to injury ,after the event the Jewish community was forced to pay for the damage caused to the synagogues and properties, They were  fined 10 billion Reichsmarks.

If Kristallnacht wasn’t an indication of what the Nazis had planned for the Jews, then what was. There was still time to put a halt to it then, but it seems people had just become to indifferent by then.

paper

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A descendant of Prophet Mohammed who saved Jews.

SI ALI

What happens if you set aside different religious believes and ideologies and when you look at only the humanity? Hate and indifference disappears and respect for each other prevails. This is something which was true during the darkest time in history and is still true today.

Prior to the outbreak of WWII Si Ali Sakkat had been a government minister in Tunisia and had also been the mayor of the capital Tunis. Si Ali Sakkat, was a Tunisian nobleman and the heir to an ancient liberal family and a  descendant of Prophet Mohammed.

By 1940 he was enjoying retirement on his farm at the base of Jebel Zaghouan.

mountain

Nearby his farm  was a Vichy and Nazi forced labor camp for  Jews . The Jewish slave laborers  were put to work repairing an airfield, which was regularly  the target of allied bombing raids.

labor

The local Tunisian population  witnessed how the Nazis who ran the camp beat Jews on a regular basis.

During one of those allied bombing, around 60 Jews managed to escape the camp and sought refugee at Sakkat’s farm. He hid them and cared for them until Tunisia was liberated by the allied forces. If the Nazis would have found out he would have more then likely be sentenced to death.

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Give Me Your Children

Chaim

There were many contradictions during the Holocaust on one hand there were Nazis like Wilm Hosenfeld who saved Jews, on the other hand there were Jews who helped the Nazis ensuring many Jews  were put on transport to their deaths.

One of those Jews was Chaim Rumkowski and although I try no to be judgmental in this case I find it hard not to be, and that is probably a shortcoming and I do apologize for that.

chaim and biebow

Chaim  Rumkowski  was a ,in Russia born, Polish Jew and wartime businessman appointed by the Nazis as the head of the Council of Elders in the Łódź Ghetto during the German occupation of Poland in World War II.

Prior to the war he was the head of a Jewish orphanage although many claim he only did the work for self serving reasons, rather then charity. Holocaust survivor Dr. Edward Reicher claimed Rumkowski had an unhealthy interest in children.

As the Elder of the Jews tasked with running the ghetto’s Nazi-installed Jewish Council, Rumkowski,  appeared to have thoroughly cherished his authority. In the analysis of several historians Rumkowski was so close to the Nazis and indeed identified  himself to his Nazi masters that he could be considered their Jewish counterpart.

In the Lodz ghetto he was nick named King Chaim.

chaim stamp

Some may say he only tried to survive and no one should be blamed for self preservation , and to an extend that is true. He was surely not unique, there were other Jews who helped the Nazis. But there is helping and there is making things very easy for them.

On German orders Rumkowski delivered a speech on September 4, 1942 pleading with the Jews in the ghetto to give up children 10 years of age and younger, as well as the elderly over 65, so that others might survive. Below is a part of that speech.

“A grievous blow has struck the ghetto. They are asking us to give up the best we possess -the children and the elderly. I was unworthy of having a child of my own, so I gave the best years of my life to children. I’ve lived and breathed with children, I never imagined I would be forced to deliver this sacrifice to the altar with my own hands. In my old age, I must stretch out my hands and beg: Brothers and sisters! Hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers: Give me your children!

I had a suspicion something was going to befall us. I anticipated “something” and was always like a watchman: on guard to prevent it. But I was unsuccessful because I did not know what was threatening us. The taking of the sick from the hospitals caught me completely by surprise. And I give you the best proof there is of this: I had my own nearest and dearest among them and I could do nothing for them!

I thought that would be the end of it, that after that, they’d leave us in peace, the peace for which I long so much, for which I’ve always worked, which has been my goal. But something else, it turned out, was destined for us. Such is the fate of the Jews: always more suffering and always worse suffering, especially in times of war.

Yesterday afternoon, they gave me the order to send more than 20,000 Jews out of the ghetto, and if not – “We will do it!” So the question became, ‘Should we take it upon ourselves, do it ourselves, or leave it to others to do?”. Well, we – that is, I and my closest associates – thought first not about “How many will perish?” but “How many is it possible to save?” And we reached the conclusion that, however hard it would be for us, we should take the implementation of this order into our own hands.

I must perform this difficult and bloody operation – I must cut off limbs in order to save the body itself. I must take children because, if not, others may be taken as well – God forbid.”

Children

He had this warped ideology that after the war he would seen as the savior of Jews. Even when it became clear what the fate was of those who were ‘resettled’ Rumkowski believed he could keep some Jews alive by producing goods for Germany and refused any form of resistance to Nazi orders.

He was ruthless, using his position as head of the Judenrat to confiscate property and businesses that were still being run by their rightful Jewish owners in the ghetto.

Rumkowski and his relatives were ultimately sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they met the same fate as most of the Lodz ghetto’s 160,000 Jews. There are conflicting versions  of Rumkowski’s death , including one in which former inmates of his fiefdom recognized him on “the ramp” at Birkenau and decided to end his life with his own hands. Rumour has it that he was beaten  to death at the gate of the Crematorium No. 2 and  his body was disposed of.

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Sources

Times of Israel

Holocaust education and research team

 

The Aryan Jesus.

Church

The Christian churches in the third reich and also outside the third reich had 3 approaches to the Nazis policies.

  1. They rejected the policies and actively resisted it.Churches like Confessing Church. and men like Dietrich Bonnhoefer. Or the catholic priest Hugh O’Flaherty resisted the Nazis and their ideologies and actively resisted the Nazi regime.
  2. They were indifferent and turned a blind eye to what was happening around them, often in plain sight. They just lived their lives as if nothing happened.
  3. They endorsed the Nazi ideology.Movements like “the German Christians” aligned themselves  towards the antisemitic, racist and Führerprinzip( leader principle, the notion that some “gifted individuals” were destined to rule, the term was first coined by philosopher Hermann von Keyserling)  ideological principles of NazismDC

As a Christian myself I am especially ashamed of the last 2 groups, and although the indifference of the 2nd group can partially be explained that the indifference was borne out of fear, it doesn’t make it better. Although it is often misquoted it is appropriate in this context ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’

The 3rd group were plainly as evil as the Nazis themselves, they may not have been involved in actual killings but they created an atmosphere which made it look okay to kill Jews.

In 1939 with the majority of  the German Protestant churches agreeing to it, the Eisenacher “Institute for Research and the Elimination of Jewish influence on German Church Life” was founded, led by Walter Grundmann.It was officially opened in the Wartburg in Eisenach on May 6, 1939.

institute

One of the institutes  main tasks was to compile a “People’s Testament” in the sense of what Alfred Rosenberg called a “Fifth Gospel”, to announce the myth of the “Aryan Jesus”.

The institute produced a “dejewified” New Testament entitled “Die Botschaft Gottes” (God’s Message), in which all references to the Old Testament were deleted in 1941. The catechism “Deutsche mit Gott” (Germans with God), which included a revised version of the Ten Commandments, was published that same year.

Removing all Jewish references from the bible and portraying Jesus as a Nordic Aryan figure of course made it easier for some people to solve an internal conflict they may have had  in mistreating their Jewish neighbors.

Georg Bertram, professor of New Testament at the University of Giessen, who was the head of the Institute from 1943 until the Institute’s dissolution in May 1945, wrote about its goals in March 1944: “‘This war is Jewry’s war against Europe.

Whereas nearly the entire Protestant and Catholic church bore a share of responsibility for the crimes against  the Jews by remaining silent about the Nuremberg Laws and the Kristall Nacht and other pogroms  as well as officially helping issue “certificates of Aryan descent”, the institute in Eisenach was guilty of complicity in the Holocaust.

Even though It is a hard truth for me as a Christian to face , a truth it is nevertheless.

altar

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